Drag On, 3 Stars

Drag On
The Yard
7th to 11th Feb 2017

“DRAG ON is a 45 minute hybrid drag-queen/dragon dance theatre performance by
choreographer/artist, James Morgan. The work will premiere from Tuesday 7th – Saturday
11th February at 7:30PM as part of ‘NOW 17’, the annual festival of radical new performance
at The Yard Theatre, Hackney Wick. It will be shown as part of a double-bill with ‘4D
Cinema’, by performance maker Mamoru Iriguchi.
In his new work, James Morgan performs as a dragon/drag-queen hybrid, combining
lipsyncing, contemporary dance, conversation and lecture. DRAG ON is an exploration of
queer identity, fantasy and fierceness. Morgan celebrates drag’s power to move beyond
gender, and imagines the monstrous possibility of moving across species. As things stand
today, aren’t we better off as monsters than humans”?


This hour long show in the company of James Morgan is full of surprises. Quite a treat. With loads of content encompassing lip synch, dance, reflections of his formative years, texts….all backed up with projected images and Video content, part lecture, part performance, there’s never a dull moment. His transformation in and out of costumes and platform shoes, removing his extensive makeup in front of us, and sharing his collection of childhood dragon toys are all unusual enough to be interesting. Equating his love of dragons and his love of drag queens into a similar love for fierce creatures, embracing the differences without conforming is a lovely message.

James has incredible flexibility which is just as well as he incorporates a lot of floor work in his dance and getting down would challenge others on huge step platform shoes. The Yard is not ideal for floor work – concrete floor with pits and holes crying out for repair.

The lighting by Sofie Gynning has some nice moments with great choice of colour.

James Morgan comes across as a very personable lovely young man. His audience interaction was welcomed. I’m not a fan of reading from texts on stage preferring the performer to “learn their lines.” The show could do with a little more structure, feeling a little too informal in places, but the ingredients are there to be tightened into something a little more polished.

An enjoyable evening full of cute surprises from a bundle of talent.

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